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Juniata baseball pulls out game three by one run in extra innings versus Drew

(Posted April 3, 2011)

MADISON, N.J. -- Juniata College baseball came from behind then got ahead of Landmark Conference opponent Drew University, pulling out of the third game of the series by one run (8-7) in the tenth frame, Sunday afternoon at Doc Young Field.

Juniata (10-12, 3-6) had to score seven runs to match up to Drew (6-14, 1-7-1) and send the game into extra innings. The Eagles scored a flurry of five runs in the fifth inning and two in the top of the seventh to match the Rangers three runs throughout the first three innings and four in the bottom of the fifth frame.

In the tenth frame, sophomore Ben Mersky (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) hit a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ian Thorne (Germantown, Pa./Seneca Valley) reached on a Drew error, Mersky advanced to third. Thorne jumped to a second on a wild pitch then Mersky came home on a wild pitch to win the game.

The Eagles offense changed the game in the top of the fifth when they sequenced five runs. Mersky and Matt Fritz (Schnecksville, Pa./Parkland) both got on base with singles. Thorne reached on a Drew error and advanced to third on the throw to bring home both Fritz and Mersky. Thorne followed them home off Dan Gray's (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) single. Andrew Hirsch (Annandale, Va./Falls Church) stroked a single through the right side to bat in Gray and Martinez, putting the Eagles up 5-3.

The Rangers responded with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tom Murray hit a single, Matthew Kaplon walked, Murray advanced to second, and Drew Orbergfell singled to score Murray. Kaplon, Pat Lydon, and Coury Napier scored for the Rangers off of four runs, four hits, and one Eagle error.

In the top of the seventh D. Gray singled, Joe Sforza (Pittstown, N.J./Immaculata) popped up to second base, and Hirsch hit a double. Gray advanced to third and scored on a Drew error. Bradley Medellin (Lewisberry, Pa./Red Land) singled down the right field line to bring home Hirsch and tie the game 7-7.

Four Juniata pitchers saw action in the contest. Eagle starter Sforza struck out one batter on three hits, five walks, and three earned runs in four innings of work. Nate Burkey (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) did the other bulk of the work on the mound in four innings, fanning two Drew batters on three hits and one walk. Ryan Morrison (Lebanon, Pa./Lebanon Catholic) and Ben Sealy (Seneca Falls, N.Y./Mynderse Academy) each pitched one inning for the Eagles. Burkey was credited with the win.

Pat Rock took the mound for the Rangers, fanning two Eagle batters on seven hits, three earned runs and two walks. Dan Blum and Steve Rosone each relieved Rock and Rosone was charged with the loss.

Mersky and D. Gray led the Eagles attack, each going 3-for-6 at the plate and scoring two runs.

Juniata will travel to Mt. Aloysius for a non-conference double header on Tuesday, Apr. 5. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.